IAIN McGOWAN FRPS.
Iain's abilities and achievements are legion. He is the author of no less than seventeen monochromatic and colour illustrated books featuring the Hebridean Islands and Highlands of Scotland, the cities of Brighton and Hove, Portsmouth and Chichester plus numerous aspects of the county of Sussex. These books together with associated magazine articles over the years include some 5000 published images. He has encouraged, guided and mentored numerous photographers, both at photographic clubs and at his hugely successful and popular photographic workshops all over the United Kingdom. His knowledge of chosen locations and the ideal conditions of light, weather and mood are unsurpassed.
His personal photographic interests over periods of time have not only included the more traditional British landscape but also studies of texture, close up details, human portraiture and urban and industrial themes. This work has become apparent in audio-visual presentations, a variety of print formats ranging from photo books, concertina albums, joiners, multi image displays and exhibited work with use of quoted verse and text. Whilst the traditional single image can obviously be of great interest, it is these processes using on occasions a considerable number of photographs to describe or explain a story or theme that interests Iain most. Two such themes being currently explored are light and mood from the Island of Harris and a more detailed exploration of the 'Northern Powerhouse'.
Never one to have been bogged down in the technical aspects of photography, he has always believed in keeping equipment simple and thoroughly understanding all of its uses. At present he is using a series of digital compact cameras small enough to keep in a coat pocket and which Iain finds gives him a delicious sense of freedom in taking his photographs.
JANEY DEVINE FRPS.
Having had a career in IT, Janey was an early convert to digital photography and bought one of the first digital cameras in 1998. A few years later she sold her business and was able to combine her love of the sea with her growing passion for photography.
Experimenting with a number of techniques she strived to produce an “impression” of the landscape, and was awarded her Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society in 2008 with a panel of images taken in East Anglia.
More recently she has become fascinated with documentary photography, and has worked on a number of Social Documentary projects.
Janey became a member of the Focus Group in 2008 and regularly exhibits in their annual exhibition in Chichester. She was invited to join the Arena group of photographers in 2016.
Visit Janey's website at: www.janeydevine.com
PETER BAMFORTH ARPS.
Peter comes to modern photography with a distinct advantage, that of having worked in computing all his life. While this does provide him with exceptional knowledge and expertise, he does share this most generously amongst other photographers. But it would be wrong to consider this the most important of his talents. He is a prodigious landscape photographer and his enthusiasm for Scottish locations is second to none. As with all of the photographers showing work here, his work is instantly recognisable and bears his own distinctive stamp. At first sight his images may seem quite simple, but this simplicity is an intrinsic part of their beauty and in reality, they are anything but simple. He chooses his moment carefully and always manages to construct a truth and a reality which few of us can approach. His printing too is in the great tradition of Fine Art photographic printing,... it is invariably flawless and acts as a benchmark for those of us who aspire to achieving that level of quality. His most recent work includes remarkable monochrome images.
LEIGH PRESTON FRPS
Leigh’s photography is mainly thematic, often using dramatic lighting in wilderness situations, or monochrome in the urban landscape. The vast majority of his output has concentrated on the Northern Mill Towns, trying to depict a changing industrial landscape. Over the past 20 years he has travelled widely, with an emphasis on the USA to make images on the empty Prairies, also to Cuba, India and Georgia, adding a more reportage style of portraiture to his portfolio. Lately he has been working on the street, looking for characters and humour or aspects of absurdity. He prefers to work alone, influenced by the environment he grew up with, and the photography of Bill Brandt, John Gray, and Michael Kenna and the artists L.S.Lowry and Atkinson Grimshaw. Lyricism and narrative have become increasingly important in the documentary work he is now producing, linking influences such as J.B. Priestly, Beryl Bainbridge alongside Bob Dylan and Roger Waters.
Leigh Preston has produced two books – ‘Shadows of Change’ and more recently ‘Five Essays’ both of which depict the various aspects of his photography as outlined above.
Visit Leigh's website for more images and other information: www.leighpreston.co.uk
Robert was invited to join the Focus Group in Spring 2017 but for a number of years has been fortunate enough to be able to join members when they travel to their favourite locations. In their company he has developed his interest in black and white landscape photography, and learnt from their expertise and encouragement. There is a very strong 'personal' feel to Robert’s work clearly seen in his choice of subject. His landscapes in particular are lyrical and full of rhythm whilst there is a real feel for light, tone and awareness in his work, which is enhanced by the deliberate use of monochrome. The portrayed mood is reflective, and his work invites the viewer to look beyond the image to the story behind it.
Bill was in the Medical imaging profession for many years. He began his serious photography in 2001 and gained the ARPS in 2003. The main thrust of his work has been Landscape both in colour and monochrome. Some of these images have been acquired in Scotland and other parts of the UK while organising much of the legendary catering on Iain’s workshops. He has done extensive infra-red imaging with many outstanding results. More recently he has produced some exciting abstracts from landscape sources and is now experimenting with Long Exposure and Intentional Camera Movement techniques. Bill has been inspired by Andre’s Kertesz’s statement about landscape “...it is not enough to photograph the landscape, you have to feel it”. When we look at Bill’s images we realise that is exactly what he does. There are some who denigrate traditional landscape as being outmoded. But we know that fashions come and go, and that top quality landscape work is extremely difficult to achieve and has just as much emotional response as any other branch of contemporary photography.
Born in 1946. Nigel has been a keen landscape photographer for many years, but has recently concentrated on natural history and botanical subjects particularly macro images and the intimate landscape, He was the Royal Horticultural Society Photographer of the Year in 2005 and was awarded gold medals at the RHS Autumn Exhibitions in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2018. He particularly enjoys making books of his images which he has done for a number of years using both traditional methods and also online publishing which is now becoming very popular.
Nigel runs very popular Botanical Fine Art Workshops at various Gardens and Arboreta in the South of England. Contact Nigel for more information about these via the Contact area on his website below.
Visit his website www.nigelchapmanphotography.com and link to www.flickr.com
JOHN BRADSHAW FRPS.
John joined the Focus Group in 2012. He has been interested in photography all his life and having finally started serious darkroom work in 1992, he switched to digital-based work in 2007. His main interests lay in Monochrome Landscape, but since 1997 he has concentrated on Photo Projects. Reflecting his interest in images that tell a story, these projects have studied major issues using sequences of images closely related to a narrative. The projects included The Grand Tour, Irish History, the Atlantic Slave Trade and the Greenwich Meridian. The first three projects have been exhibited at several locations across the British Isles.
His more recent work includes a new exploration of Monochrome Imaging. He is currently working on a Conceptual study of the Industrial and Agricultural Revolutions including relevant poetic quotations.
John was invited to join the Arena Group of Photographers in 2018
For more detailed information and more images from these projects visit John's personal website at: www.johnbradshawphotography.co.uk